There has been recent buzz about what appears to some to be the more socialistic aspects of Christianity. The Huffington Post and the Washington Post’s On Faith blog have both published op-eds touting progressive sounding Scriptures.

In one recent op-ed, Gregory Paul claims Jesus was a socialist, citing Acts 2-5 as evidence. Paul is not the first commentator to argue Acts 2-5 teaches socialism.

Acts 2-5 presents a beautiful picture of Christian community. But does it mandate socialism for believers? What can be said to such a claim?

There is an alternative argument to such statements. This alternative argues that the Bible’s central principles are consistent with a market economy, commonly called capitalism. Furthermore, the Bible’s central principles also contradict a centrally-planned economy, often referred to as socialism.

Let’s begin by defining capitalism and socialism. Both are economic systems. They make different claims over how resources should and can be rationed. More importantly, both claim they are best poised to promote human flourishing.

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